“The 6 Stupidest Things We Use to Judge People We Don’t Know” — John Cheese, a columnist at Cracked.com, notes that Newt Gingrich adopted a new talking point shortly after it appeared in one of his columns:
Last November, I wrote a piece on the Occupy Wall Street generation, and the first point was about how we’ve made the current generation of workers ashamed and afraid of taking certain jobs. A week or so later, Newt Gingrich started bringing up the same point in interviews as a platform for his campaign.
Thursday’s debate, the 19th televised debate among Republican presidential candidates this year, certainly did not lack fireworks. And while many political junkies have become weary of watching these affairs, the event here on the campus of the University of North Florida may be as decisive as the South Carolina debates that were credited with helping Gingrich score a crucial win there Saturday. Polls this week in Florida show Romney pulling away, and the former Massachusetts governor had one of his best-ever debate performances Thursday, while Gingrich had one of his worst yet.
“Cannibals in GOP Establishment Employ Tactics of the Left“ — Sarah Palin shares her thoughts on yesterday’s fragging of Newt Gingrich:
I am sadly too familiar with these tactics because they were used against the GOP ticket in 2008. The left seeks to single someone out and destroy his or her record and reputation and family using the media as a channel to dump handpicked and half-baked campaign opposition research on the public. The difference in 2008 was that I was largely unknown to the American public, so they had no way of differentiating between the lies and the truth. All of it came at them at once as “facts” about me. But Newt Gingrich is known to us – both the good and the bad.
(H/T to Prof. Jacobson at Legal Insurrection, where I first saw this.)
“Tough New Gingrich ad: ‘What kind of man?’“ — At Hot Air, Allahpundit explains why he thinks Newt’s new attack ad against Romney is not going to peel off any Romney supporters or outweigh the greater amount of money Romney has for his own anti-Newt ads:
So psyched is Team Newt about this spot that they started pushing it to the media this morning before the vid was even done, sending around the script instead. It’s good, but the image of Romney as a ruthless, slippery politician who’ll say whatever he has to in order to win is, I fear, already priced into his stock.
“Mitt Romney leading polls in Florida” — The Los Angeles Times notes a new poll by Quinnipiac University shows Romney is leading the pack:
Romney has, for now at least, pulled ahead of Gingrich in the roller-coaster campaign for Florida. An opinion survey of Florida Republicans, released Friday by Quinnipiac University, showed Romney leading Gingrich by nine points, 38% to 29%. Rep. Ron Paul and former Sen. Rick Santorum were far back, at 14% and 12%, respectively.
“I think if Romney wins this, it’s over for Newt,” said John McLaughlin, a veteran Republican pollster who is unaffiliated in the presidential campaign. Looking ahead, Romney has the advantage in the Feb. 4 Nevada caucuses and other, largely symbolic contests next month, including a nonbinding Feb. 7 primary in Missouri, where Gingrich failed to qualify for the ballot.
“In retiree-heavy Florida, health care reform not a popular topic“ — Reuters reports:
There’s one small-government idea that Republican presidential candidates are reluctant to discuss in this retiree-heavy state: their plans to rein in health care costs for the elderly. (Note to Reuters: we call this “entitlement reform.” “Health care reform” is now called “Obamacare.” You’re welcome.)
“Santorum Praised by Rush Limbaugh, Endorsed by Florida State Sen. Plakon“ — Stacy McCain reports Rush Limbaugh praised Santorum for this exchange with Romney over Romneycare during last night’s debate:
SANTORUM: Just so I understand this, in Massachusetts , everybody is mandated as a condition of breathing in Massachusetts , to buy health insurance, and if you don’t, and if you don’t, you have to pay a fine.
What has happened in Massachusetts is that people are now paying the fine because health insurance is so expensive. And you have a pre-existing condition clause in yours, just like Barack Obama.
So what is happening in Massachusetts, the people that Governor Romney said he wanted to go after, the people that were free-riding, free ridership has gone up five-fold in Massachusetts. Five times the rate it was before. Why? Because…
ROMNEY: That’s total, complete…
SANTORUM: I’ll be happy to give you the study. Five times the rate it has gone up. Why? Because people are ready to pay a cheaper fine and then be able to sign up to insurance, which are now guaranteed under “Romney-care,” than pay high cost insurance, which is what has happened as a result of “Romney-care.”
ROMNEY: First of all, it’s not worth getting angry about.
Limbaugh said it is worth getting angry about, and many Republican voters who watched last night’s debate are probably reconsidering whether the media’s predetermined Mitt-vs.-Newt frontrunner narrative is overlooking the possibility that neither Romney nor Gingrich is the best choice to take on Obama.
“Santorum’s Main Backer Plans to Keep on Funding“ — The Wall Street Journal reports that Santorum is assured of money to stay in the race after Florida:
While Rick Santorum is in Florida seeking to revive his presidential campaign, a man in Wyoming might hold the key to extending his candidacy, and the entire fight for the Republican nomination.
“With focus on sunny Florida, GOP candidate Ron Paul braves snowy Maine in hunt for delegates“ — The Washington Post outlines Ron Paul’s campaign plans:
Paul is all but skipping Florida, whose primary is Jan. 31, to focus on Maine and other states holding caucuses, including Nevada, Colorado and Minnesota. Nevada’s caucuses are Feb. 4 and Colorado and Minnesota’s follow on Feb. 7.
Hit the tip jar! I’ll put your money to good use obtaining the skills, software and services I urgently need to re-boot this blog into one that does not depend on donations:
Update, 1/28/12: My thanks to Stacy McCain for the link and donation! He’s on the road in Florida covering the run-up to the Republican primary there on Tueday, Jan. 31.